I’ve been seeking freelance writing work for a month now. From The Write Feeling site, Freelancer and several other places, I’ve put out my name and my skills to find work that pays. While prepared for how hard this would be, I didn’t count on how frustrated I would feel. It’s been a month and while my business plan reflected a slow start (over three months in fact), I’m still hurting that I’ve been unable to secure work.
On Tuesday I returned to my Freelancer account to assess my skill set. I updated it and began a fresh search for jobs with these new skills in mind. I now include ghostwriting in my skill set as well as blogging, articles, fiction, editing and proofreading. My search is primarily for editing and proofreading work, since this is what The Write Feeling specialises in, however, in light of the update, I did look at ghostwriting. Three days on I’m yet to place a bid on any ghostwriting job.
I spent a day considering this – since I’m unconsciously disregarding a potential source of income I need to know why! After much thought I found the answer and through understanding why I’ve avoided these jobs, I’ve also come to better understand my motivations as a writer.
The money on offer is as good as any other job, as are the hours. The time I would need to give over to ghostwriting, in some cases, is easier than the jobs I have bid for. However, these ghostwriting jobs all (so far without exception) state: ‘copyright and ownership passes to me (employer) and your (employee) name will not appear on the final work.’
Huh. So, though I’m paid, I don’t get the credit for the piece? What if it’s the best thing I’ve ever written? What if, after completing the job, I lose all my fingers and can’t type another story ever again? What if I just decide to pack it all in, after the job? Despite having written something that is now published and earning a few pennies, I’ll never get credit.
I laughed at myself when I identified the problem. I found it funny. It comes down to what I’ve always suspected about myself but have now proven: I don’t care about the money. While it would be nice, big bucks are just a fringe benefit to seeing my name in print.
At least now that I know that, I can be smarter about how I bid for jobs on Freelancer and anywhere else.
Where do you guys draw the line when it comes to your writing? What is the key aspect of it for you that keeps you going back for more and more?